Facebook Acquires Sports Data Startup Sportstream

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Facebook wants you to talk about all the football all the time

Facebook has acquired San Francisco-based startup Sportstream as part of an effort to increase user interaction on the platform around major sporting events.

Sportstream provides feeds of sports-themed social content, stats and news to content providers and broadcasters, allowing them to aggregate, sort and display information in real time, and has established relationships with major media companies and sports teams since the firm was formed 18 months ago.

The company says its acquisition will allow it to expand its original vision given the new resources it will have at its disposal and hopes to help people connect around sports, conversations about which happen all the time on Facebook.

Facebook Sportstream deal

IBM Wimbledon 2013 (9)“We’re excited to continue investing in helping people connect through their shared interests on Facebook,” the company says. “At Facebook, we will continue delivering great experiences with our existing partners and actively work with them on transition planning. And we’ll be scaling and further developing tools and resources to help many, many more partners going forward.”

For Facebook, the benefits are obvious. It hopes the integration of the Sportstream team will encourage its users to spend more time talking and reading about sports on its service, thereby increasing the amount of time they will spend looking at adverts. It adds that the acquisition will also provide its partners with improved insight into user behaviour.

“Through this acquisition, we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs,” explains Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships and global operations. “SportStream’s demonstrated track record of surfacing interesting and engaging content, along with their deep understanding of our products, means that we will be able to build a better experience for the people who use Facebook, and for our partners who depend on us for real-time insights.”

Osofsky confirms that the Sportstream team will move to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters as part of the deal, but did not say how much it paid for the startup.

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